I agree with many of the issues raised in this email, but I don't think Friedrich
adequately considers the issue of multiple domain name registration by companies
and trademark holders. As I wrote in a previous post "Would new TLD's change anything?",
one big issue is that there are fewer and fewer (English) words left to be registered.
Since there is a definite trend to "lock up" the word and similar sounding words
by registering a large number of domain names and having them all point to the same
site (or be inactive), it seems to me that adding new gTLDs will have little net
effect, unless the number of words in the English language suddenly changes or unless
there are restrictions imposed on the number of domain names a company can hold.
"1. ICANN guarantees the integrity of trademarked names under the cctlds
of the countries, to which the trademarks protection extends, following a first-come-first-serve
system among the trademark-owners themselves in re-spect of the trademark-names being
registered in one or many of the 42 classes available."
The problem I see with
this is that many people don't have any clue about what trademark classes are. So
if you were looking for "all-in-one" the sandwich, the average person isn't going
to know that this is class 30.
I do agree that it would be a good idea to restrict
individuals to existing TLDs. Problem is, ".com"(in particular), ".net" and ".org"
have been totally abused.
I also think it would be confusing for users if some
companies (such as Microsoft or Coca-cola) kept their existing .com's etc as well
as going to the new trademark only gTLDs, while other big companies (perhaps those
late-adopters) only had the new gTLD.
One thing I've noticed is that many users
have difficulty with the concept that the TLD is also part of the address, much like
a postal address. I mentionned it before - but I'll say it again. Many users
are now used to the www.something.com format - if you try changing the format to
something different, people get confused. This is an especially big problem if you
try to change the 'www' as opposed to the '.com'
This is not an unsurmountable
problem - but will require additional public education. However, unless the
type of information found under each TLD is consistent, the education process is
definitely impeded. And the information under .com, for instance, is definitely
not consistent... It's much easier to explain to someone that if they are looking
for a company, they should go to .com, while if they are looking for a trademark,
they should go to .reg etc than it is to explain that if they are looking for that
company they should look under random gTLDs because the company could have registered
their name anywhere.
I think I like the way Taiwan does it best actually (.com.tw),
but even if the various online "communities" - individuals, corporations, sex sites,
etc could be separated, it would help.
There is one other problem I see with Friedrich's
proposed solutions: .tm currently belongs to a small country...